Education Observatory

Research in Education at the University of Wolverhampton

Maximising hidden resources

One of the other groups we identified was made up of schools with small or reduced disadvantage gaps which had access to resources, capacities and individuals unavailable to other schools. We called them “hidden resource” schools because they are able to draw on capacity which is not immediately obvious. Students from lower income homes are able to access these hidden resources, which include factors like school ethos and environment, and this appears to have a significant impact on their achievement.

These schools draw on hidden resources in their communities to offer tailored, individual support for PP students. The examples included here focus on peer listening, academic coaching, and mentoring. They exemplify how three schools have leveraged hidden resources to engage and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

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Key messages

  • The context of a school determines its approach to pupil premium.
  • Many hidden contextual features of schools have an impact on their capacity to support students facing disadvantage.
  • Some schools with hidden resources have supported their pupil premium students through mentoring, including peer mentoring.